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Weekend Baking

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  • MirabelleMirabelle Owl Whisperer Kensington.Posts: 1,020 The Mix Regular
    I'm in the moody for something savoury, so how about Cheddar Torpedos by master baker Dan Lepard?

    Attachment not found.

    These lovely cheddar torpedoes will be extra nice if you can find stone ground, strong white bread flour. The taste and texture of stone-milled flour makes for a terrific bite, far different than conventional milled flours. Use the amount of salt as in the ingredients, remembering it would be a level teaspoon and no more.

    550g strong white flour
    1 tsp salt
    1 tbsp powdered mustard (for instance Colman's)
    300g cheddar, cut into 1cm cubes
    1 medium onion, finely chopped
    300g warm water
    2 tsp fast-action yeast
    1 medium egg
    Oil, for kneading
    Beaten egg, to finish
    Freshly ground black pepper

    Put the flour, salt and mustard in a large bowl, add the cheese and onion, and toss together with your fingers.

    In a jug, whisk the water, yeast and egg until smooth, then pour this into the flour/cheese bowl and mix everything to a soft dough. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and set aside for 10 minutes. Lightly oil a worktop and knead the dough on it for just 10 seconds. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave for an hour.

    Divide the dough into five or six equal pieces, shape into long sausages and place on one or two trays lined with nonstick baking paper. Cover and leave until risen somewhere between half and double.

    Meanwhile, heat the oven to 220C (200C fan-assisted)/425F/gas mark 7. Once they've risen, brush the torpedoes with beaten egg, grind black pepper over them and bake for 20-25 minutes, until evenly golden all over.
    'If you think education is expensive, try estimating the cost of ignorance'.

    - Howard Gardner
  • MirabelleMirabelle Owl Whisperer Kensington.Posts: 1,020 The Mix Regular
    And here is another savoury recipe, Parmesan Slow-roasted Tomato and Pepper Tarts

    These tarts are as delicious as they are colourful - sorry, no photo. This recipe which calls for Grana Padano Parmesan has been divided down to serve 8 people. It originated from an advertisement for Grana Padano Parmesan and is very good indeed! I suspect, though, these will be so popular in your family that you'll be wanting to double the ingredients like Mandy and I do every time we make these wonderful tarts.

    Ingredients
    8 small plum tomatoes, halved
    1 red pepper, deseeded and thickly sliced
    1 yellow pepper, deseeded and thickly sliced
    2 tablespoons of Italian olive oil, through Greek is far better, IMO
    salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 x 500g / 1 lb.2oz pack puff pastry, thawed if frozen
    8 teaspoons red or green pesto sauce
    75g / about 3 oz Grana Padano parmesan, finely grated - maybe a little more if you fancy it.
    a handful of rocket leaves
    shavings of Grana Padano to serve

    1. Preheat the oven to 180C/ Gas 4 / 350F. Arrange the halved tomatoes, cut side up, in a roasting pan with the peppers. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the dried oregano, then drizzle with olive oil. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20 minutes.

    2. Meanwhile, roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle approx 30cm / 12 inches square. Cut out 8 rounds with a 10cm / 4 inch cutter. Lift them on to a lightly greased baking sheet. Spread with 1 teaspoon of pesto sauce over each circle, then sprinkle with the grated Grana Padano.

    3. Cool the roasted tomatoes and peppers for 10 minutes, then arrange them over the pastry circles. Increase the oven to 200C / 400F / gas mark 6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until well-risen and golden.
    'If you think education is expensive, try estimating the cost of ignorance'.

    - Howard Gardner
  • MirabelleMirabelle Owl Whisperer Kensington.Posts: 1,020 The Mix Regular
    Cereal Bars

    There are many, many recipes for cereal bars – ranging from crisp and crunchy to soft-baked. This cereal bar is sort of in the middle. It’s crisp, yet chewy. The great thing about making your own homemade cereal bars is that you can pack it full of all your favourites. I usually can’t ever find a bar that I am 100 percent wild about in the stores. However, this homemade bar is tailor made and full of my favourite morsels: coconut, slivered almonds, toasted wheat germ, dried cherries, dried mango, dark chocolate chips, and lovely runny honey.

    The honey and coconut give it a smooth flavour, the almonds a nice crunch, the cherries an added tartness, and the chocolate chips a little sweetness. For my first try, they are good, very good. It’s been hard to stop eating them. :heart::yum:

    2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
    1 cup sliced almonds
    1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
    1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    2/3 cup honey
    1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
    1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
    1/2 cup chopped dried mangoes
    1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Watch very, very, very closely. Oven temperatures vary, and this can burn in an instant. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

    Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the chopped fruit and whatever else your heart desires. My heart wanted dried bing cherries, dried mangoes, and dark chocolate chips.

    Pour the mixture into the buttered 9×13 inch pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until light golden brown. I baked mine for 20 minutes. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.
    'If you think education is expensive, try estimating the cost of ignorance'.

    - Howard Gardner
  • MirabelleMirabelle Owl Whisperer Kensington.Posts: 1,020 The Mix Regular
    Treacle Pecan Caramels are delicious sticky things by mmaster baker Dan Lepard.

    The hard way to judge when these are cooked is to drip a teaspoon-sized blob into a glass of cold water to see whether it forms a hard or soft ball when cool and squeezed between your fingers. The easy way is with a sugar thermometer, available from cookware shops or, a perfect little present to yourself because they aren't expensive.


    Warning! Sugar when hot is very very hot, so keep children and animals out of the kitchen when making these.

    Makes about 30 large caramels.

    150g caster sugar
    200g dark muscovado or molasses sugar
    75g golden syrup
    75g black treacle or molasses
    100ml milk
    225g double cream
    100g unsalted butter
    150g-200g pecan halves

    Line the base and sides of an 18cm square tin with nonstick paper. (You could just grease it, but without the paper, I find it's tricky to remove and cut the caramel without marking it with fingerprints, which isn't such a good look for a gift.)

    Put all the ingredients bar the nuts in a heavy-based three-litre saucepan – that may seem rather big, but the caramel boils high and you want to protect both yourself and your stove.

    Bring to a boil, stirring to start off with, and boil until it reaches 122C (250F) for a soft caramel to 125C (257F) for a firmer one: those temperatures are higher than some caramel recipes, but this mixture gives it a softer set.

    Move the pan off the heat, carefully stir in the pecan halves while the caramel is still bubbling, then pour into the tin. Leave until cold, then cut.

    Cut small squares of Cellophane or nonstick baking paper, and use to wrap each caramel individually – this will help hold their shape and stop them sticking to each other.

    'If you think education is expensive, try estimating the cost of ignorance'.

    - Howard Gardner
  • MirabelleMirabelle Owl Whisperer Kensington.Posts: 1,020 The Mix Regular
    A Lovely Irish Apple Cake

    Apple cake recipes vary from house to house, and the individual technique will have been passed from mother to daughter for generations. It would originally have been baked in a bastible or pot beside an open fire and later in the oven or stove on tin or enamel plates – much better than ovenproof glass because the heat travels through and cooks the pastry base more readily.

    Serves about 6

    225g (8oz) plain flour
    ¼ teaspoon baking powder
    110g (4oz) butter
    125g (4½oz) caster sugar
    1 egg, free-range if possible, beaten
    50–120ml (2–4fl oz) milk, approx.
    1–2 cooking apples – we use Bramley Seedling or Grenadier
    2–3 cloves (optional)
    Beaten egg, to glaze

    To serve:
    Barbados (muscovado) sugar
    Softly whipped cream
    24cm (9in) ovenproof pie plate

    Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until it resembles the texture of breadcrumbs. Add 85g (3oz) caster sugar, then make a well in the centre and mix together with the beaten egg and enough milk to form a soft dough.

    Divide in two. Put one half on to your greased ovenproof plate and pat it out to cover. Peel, core and chop up the apples. Place them on the dough with the cloves, if using, and sprinkle over the remaining sugar – the amount you need will depend on the sweetness of the apples. Roll out the remaining pastry and fit it on top. (This is easier said than done as this "pastry" is very soft like scone dough. You may need to do a bit of patchwork if it breaks.)

    Press the sides together and cut a slit through the lid. Brush with beaten egg and bake in a moderate oven (180C / 350F / gas mark 4) for about 40 minutes, or until cooked through and nicely browned. Dredge with caster sugar and serve warm with Barbados sugar and softly whipped cream.

    • This recipe is taken from Irish Traditional Cooking by Darina Allen (Kyle Cathie, £25)
    'If you think education is expensive, try estimating the cost of ignorance'.

    - Howard Gardner
  • ShaunieShaunie Posts: 13,795 Born on Earth, Raised by The Mix
    I love baking. Im pretty basic though with my basic fairy cakes and sponge cakes lol. And some decorations soo not too basic. But id like to make something like steamed pud.
    But i went outa my comfort zone like few weeks ago with trying a swiss roll. Just Went pretty bad trying to roll it🙃

    Thanks for sharing
  • MirabelleMirabelle Owl Whisperer Kensington.Posts: 1,020 The Mix Regular
    Shaunie wrote: »
    I love baking. Im pretty basic though with my basic fairy cakes and sponge cakes lol. And some decorations soo not too basic. But id like to make something like steamed pud.
    But i went outa my comfort zone like few weeks ago with trying a swiss roll. Just Went pretty bad trying to roll it🙃

    Thanks for sharing

    Hi @Shaunie

    Swiss rolls are tricky buggers at thebest of times and only practice will make perfect, and nimble fingers. I just happened to look in our recipe section to find some pretty amazing steamed puds so I'm going tp post a bunch and you can choose whatever you like. Traditionally, steamed puds are done i a sucepan of simmering water allowing steam to cook the pud, but this method will take a long time. But well worth the wait. :yum: You can do 'steamed' puds in the microwave and some recipes give good results, but microwaving is not nearly as good as the traditional method for taste, but I may be wrong. So here are some Mandy and I have done. They're all very yum. Just make the custard either from a tin or the traditional way.

    And I'll find you some fairy cakes soon. :thumb:

    Seriously Yummy Steamed Pud

    The Pud: the single, most appreciated thing at any table, and in any season. Our guy friends like steamed puds like they love their sausages. But now you steam your puds in a microwave, they're only going to take only minutes to cook, instead of hours. And the beauty of microwaving them (says Mandy) is while you serve and eat the main course, you the host can secretly smug from your guests, who are wondering just how you managed to get it all done.

    How to do it:
    150g/6oz butter
    150g/6oz caster sugar
    2 eggs
    200g/7oz self raising flour
    1 tablespoon milk
    Chosen flavourings, see below..
    900ml or 1 pint pudding basin, buttered and floured.

    Really cream the butter and sugar until the mixture looks like cream and the sugar has dissolved completely. The better you do this, the better the end result. It does take a bit longer than you expect . . .Beat in the eggs one at a time and then beat in the flour until it is just incorporated. Stir in the milk.

    Spoon the mixture into the basin, but don’t pour it.

    Cover with an inverted plate and microwave 8-10 minutes at Medium High in an 850 watt cooker, but around Medium on a 1000-1200 watt cooker: Check it is well-risen and spongy to the touch. Sometimes an extra 30 seconds might be all it needs. Then let it stand three to five minutes, run a knife blade around the inside of the bowl and then invert as above.

    Steamed puddings were often made with breadcrumbs and, perhaps surprisingly, this gives a really nice light texture. You can replace the flour with 200g to 250g/6-8 oz fresh white breadcrumbs from a good loaf like sourdough or wholemeal, or use a mixture of 50g/2oz self-raising flour and 100-150g/ 4-5 oz fresh white breadcrumbs. Crumbs from sliced white bread, let it be said, are unspeakable. Don't even think about it. Old Fanny Craddock on the BBC my grandma said, used to use sliced white breadcrumbs among other culinary atrocities which is probably why the British public voted by switching their tellies off, so flushing old bottle swiggin' Fanny down the lav for all time.

    Chocolate: use 50g / 2oz less flour but add 50g / 2oz cocoa (not drinking chocolate) and 50-100g / 2-4oz chopped chocolate - use 70% choc as this really is stonkingly good: serve with hot chocolate sauce, custard sauce (chocolate or not) a nut sauce or a raspberry sauce.. Oh yum! Most of the mixtures you’d put into the bottom of a plain, orange or lemon steamed pudding can go into the basin of a chocolate one.

    Fresh raspberries in and under a chocolate pudding gets the vote of the more sophisticated palate, remembering that such are perfect partners in crime, haha. For a real buzz, add the chocolate in chunks, add small marshmallows and then lightly season the pudding mixture with Tabasco.

    Golden syrup: stir a generous slug through the mixture and as much as you like at the bottom of the basin: three or four tablespoons is the norm: ring the changes by also adding long shreds of lemon or orange zest or a mixture of both

    Jam: you can use any fruity jam and not just the usual raspberry; add three or four tablespoons of apricot or plum or pineapple or strawberry or greengage jam or lumpier conserve to the bottom of the basin before you add in the mixture.

    The possibilities are amazing if the sponge is spiced or citrus flavoured, especially if you choose orange.

    Lemon: put two tablespoons of butter, the grated zest of one lemon and the juice of two into the bottom of the basin: stir the zest from the second lemon into the mixture.

    Maple syrup & pecan: micro-roast a handful of pecan nuts and chop about a third of them quite finely. Stir the finely chopped nuts and a tablespoon of maple syrup through the pudding mixture. Put three tablespoons of maple syrup, a tablespoon of butter and the rest of the nuts in the bottom of the pudding basin.

    Marmalade: three or four tablespoons of coarse cut marmalade at the bottom of the basin: zest of an orange through the pudding. Some dark rum sprinkled over the marmalade is only a good thing. For puddings, lovely old fashioned Frank Cooper’s Oxford is superior to their very dark Vintage marmalade

    Mixed berries: half a pack of frozen mixed berries makes a spectacular base for a steamed pudding. The other half can be lightly heated in the microwave at the last moment and then artfully tumbled over the servings. Lashings of cream seem miserly with this; it needs clotted cream and ice cream.

    Pie mixes: cans of thickened fruit mixtures meant to be baked in a pie make wondrous accompaniments to steamed puddings; the best is black or red cherry or anything based on berries or mixed berries but if you use apricots sharpen the flavour with lemon, lime or orange zest. Put up to a half in the base of the pudding bowl, perhaps choosing a slightly bigger bowl than normal; the remainder is heated and served as a sauce.

    Raspberry/strawberry: this can be anything you like, really.
    Just jam: three to four tablespoons in the bottom of the bowl or jam in the bottom and fruit mixed through, or mashed fruit, sugar and butter in the bottom . . . you can’t go wrong, really.

    Spiced: add a tablespoon of ground ginger, cinnamon or good fresh mixed spice through the mixture; if you are cooking by microwave, use half that amount.
    Particularly good with golden syrup.

    Toffee-pear and rum: peel core and then roughly chop 500g/1lb firm sweet pears: Williams or Comice are always the best choice.

    Melt together 90g/3oz butter, 175g/6oz muscavado or dark brown sugar and two tablespoons dark rum until blended.

    Put one-third of this into the base of a buttered and floured 1.5 litre/3 pint pudding bowl.

    Mix the pears into the remaining warm liquid.
    Make the basic sponge pudding and then swirl the pear mixture unevenly through it Don’t fuss, because an informality of colour and flavour is this pudding’s appeal. Rum custard or cream, of course. ;)


    'If you think education is expensive, try estimating the cost of ignorance'.

    - Howard Gardner
  • MirabelleMirabelle Owl Whisperer Kensington.Posts: 1,020 The Mix Regular
    Syrup Sponge Pudding

    Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's syrup sponge pudding ticks all my boxes for a cold rainy day. Or just any day or night - especially after doing a concert and my sugar levels are low, syrup sponge pudding will bring me back to reality, hahaa! :d Buttery, sweet and lusciously light, it's what dreams of piggishness are made from and you'll enjoy the pud just because it's there.

    Steamed sponge puddings – as opposed to suet puddings – have a special texture: buttery and sweet, but also lusciously light. And that sticky, syrupy bottom is, of course, irresistible. Serves four to six. I'll admit to it serving more like 2 to 3 :razz:

    3 good tbsp golden syrup
    100g unsalted butter, softened
    100g caster sugar
    2 medium eggs
    100g self-raising flour, sifted
    A splash of milk
    Chilled double cream, to serve

    Generously butter a pudding basin with a capacity of around one litre. Spoon the syrup into the base. Cream together the butter and caster sugar until really light and fluffy. Beat in one egg at a time, adding a spoonful of flour with each, then fold in the remaining flour. You should have a batter with a good dropping consistency. If not, stir in a little milk to loosen it.

    Spoon the batter into the basin on top of the syrup (don't worry if it comes up the sides a little – that's the idea).

    Tie a double layer of buttered foil or baking parchment, buttered side down, over the basin. Put a trivet, rack or upturned small heatproof plate in a large saucepan and stand the pudding on it. Pour in boiling water to come about halfway up the side of the basin, then cover the pan and bring to a very gentle simmer. Steam for an hour and a half, topping up the boiling water with more from the kettle a couple of times along the way.

    Remove the foil and loosen the edges of the pudding with a knife. Place a plate on top then invert the plate and basin, and unmould the pudding. Slice and serve piping hot with chilled double cream.

    Variations
    Jam or marmalade pudding Replace the syrup with three heaped tablespoons of marmalade or your favourite jam. And if you're trying a marmalade pudding, consider adding the grated zest of an orange to the sponge batter, too.

    Lemon pudding Replace the syrup with the juice of one lemon combined with 25g soft brown sugar. Add the grated zest and juice of another lemon to the sponge batter.
    'If you think education is expensive, try estimating the cost of ignorance'.

    - Howard Gardner
  • MirabelleMirabelle Owl Whisperer Kensington.Posts: 1,020 The Mix Regular
    Steamed chocolate pudding

    An old-fashioned chocolate pudding simmered in a basin, best served with a hot chocolate sauce and very cold cream. Recipe author unknown.

    3 tbsp good dark cocoa
    125g dark brown sugar
    150g cold milk
    2 slices stale bread (about 50g), as breadcrumbs
    1 egg yolk
    50g melted butter
    50g plain flour
    ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Caster sugar for the basin

    Butter a 1-pint pudding basin, put a small disc of paper in the base and dust the inside with caster sugar.

    In a bowl, whisk the cocoa and sugar with a dash of milk till smooth, then stir in the remaining milk, breadcrumbs, yolk and melted butter, beating after each addition.

    Sift the flour and soda together, then fold this in. Scrape this batter into the basin.

    Butter a sheet of foil, fold a pleat in the middle, and secure this butter-side down with a length of string tied under the lip of the basin (with a second string loop over the top to form a handle).

    Put the basin on an old saucer placed in the bottom of a large deep saucepan with a lid. Half fill the pan with water and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a bare simmer, put the lid on and cook for 1½ hours - checking the water every 30 minutes to make sure that it doesn't boil dry.

    Carefully lift the basin out of the pan, remove the foil, run a knife around the inside and turn on to a plate to serve.
    'If you think education is expensive, try estimating the cost of ignorance'.

    - Howard Gardner
  • MirabelleMirabelle Owl Whisperer Kensington.Posts: 1,020 The Mix Regular
    Volcanic Chocolate Pudding

    This pudding can be likened to a volcano, I was told. Oh really? Well, let's see...omg!

    When you cut into it, molten chocolate 'lava' will erupt from the centre. You will need a pudding bowl with a capacity of 1.5-1.8 litres or small individual ramekins, and a lidded saucepan into which it or they will fit. The saucepan needs to fit in the oven.

    For the molten centre:
    125g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
    15g butter
    50ml double cream
    25g caster sugar

    For the pudding:
    200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
    100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
    100g caster sugar
    6 eggs, separated
    100g plain flour
    40g cornflour
    one and a half tsp baking powder

    First make the centre. Melt all the ingredients over very low heat. Pour into a small bowl, cover it and leave in the freezer for approximately 20 minutes until firm.

    Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Grease the bowl with a little butter smeared on its wrapper. Sift in a little flour and shake the bowl around until covered with a dusting of flour. Slowly melt the chocolate in a small bowl over hot water or in a microwave.

    Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a wooden spoon for a minute or two until pale and fluffy. Then take a whisk and whisk in the egg yolks one by one. Whip the egg whites into soft peaks and reserve.

    Add the flour, cornflour and baking powder to the butter/sugar/egg mix and stir in with a wooden spoon. Fold in the melted chocolate, then the egg whites. Start with just a small proportion of the whites, then when the mixture has loosened up fold in the rest.

    Pour a third of the mix into the pudding bowl, then retrieve the chocolate from the freezer and lay the set 'plug' on top. Add the rest of the pudding mix. Cover the bowl with greaseproof paper and tin foil.

    Place the pudding in its bowl in the saucepan and pour in water until it comes halfway up the bowl.

    Put the lid on the saucepan and bring to the boil on the stove top. As soon as the contents begin to bubble, place the saucepan in the oven for 1 hour. If you are making small puddings, bake for 30 minutes. You can also cook the puddings in a steamer.

    Take the saucepan out of the oven, extract the pudding from the bowl and leave it to rest for 15 minutes before serving with double cream or vanilla ice cream.

    And it really is terrific!
    'If you think education is expensive, try estimating the cost of ignorance'.

    - Howard Gardner
  • MirabelleMirabelle Owl Whisperer Kensington.Posts: 1,020 The Mix Regular
    Fairy Cakes, or cupcakes as they are sometimes known, are the easiest, but perhaps also the most joyous of cakes because they never fail to make people smile. Call them whatever you like, but keep the sponge nice and light, and the decoration simple, and you really can't go wrong.

    Attachment not found.

    Makes 12 small cakes or 6 large ones.

    3 oz / 85g unsalted butter, softened
    3 oz / 85g golden caster sugar
    1 medium egg
    3½ oz / 100g self-raising flour, sifted
    1½ oz (approx) / 40g ground almonds
    ¼ tsp baking powder
    100ml milk, to mix (you might not need it all)
    scant 8 oz / 225g icing sugar
    Decorations of your choice

    1. Line a fairy cake or muffin tin with cases, and heat the oven to 180C.

    2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy – if you do this by hand you'll need a very strong arm, so if you've got one use a food mixer on its fastest setting.

    3. While continuing to mix, drizzle the egg in gradually, adding a tablespoon of flour if the mixture looks like it's about to curdle.

    4. Combine the flour, almonds and baking powder, then gently fold into the mixture. Add just enough milk to bring the batter to a dropping consistency.

    5. Divide the mixture between the cases: if you prefer flat-topped cakes, then just cover the bottom of the cases, if not, you can half-fill them.

    6. Bake for 20 minutes, and then turn out on to a rack to cool.

    7. Mix the icing sugar with enough boiling water to make a thick paste, then smooth over the cooled cakes, and add decorations before it sets. Eat quickly – fairy cakes don't keep!


    Attachment not found.

    'If you think education is expensive, try estimating the cost of ignorance'.

    - Howard Gardner
  • MirabelleMirabelle Owl Whisperer Kensington.Posts: 1,020 The Mix Regular
    Red Velvet Cupcake with Creamy Vanilla Frosting - or call it a Fairy Cake, I don't mind cos it looks so yummy! :yum::heart::heart::heart:

    Attachment not found.

    Makes around 24 and at the weekend I hope to be posting more @Shaunie

    For the cakes:
    500g plain flour
    165g unsalted butter, softened
    500g sugar
    3 large eggs, at room temperature
    6 tbsp red food colouring
    3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
    1½ tsp vanilla extract
    1½ tsp salt
    330ml buttermilk
    1½ tsp cider vinegar
    1½ tsp baking soda

    For the frosting:
    6 tbsp plain flour
    440ml milk
    450g unsalted butter, softened
    450g sugar
    2 tsp vanilla extract

    Preheat oven to 180C/gas mark 4. In a small bowl, sift the plain flour. Set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about three minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

    Whisk together the red food colouring, ­unsweetened cocoa powder and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.

    Stir the salt in with the buttermilk and add to ­the batter in three parts, ­alternating with flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are fully ­incorporated, but make sure you do not overbeat.

    In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda and add to the batter and mix well.

    Divide the mixture into cases, then bake each tray of cakes for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

    Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 ­minutes. Remove from the tins and cool ­completely on a wire rack before mixing together the frosting ingredients and applying the icing.

    • Footnote added 16 February 2010: Several readers have queried the quantity of red food colouring in the recipe above. Please note that some red colouring liquids used in the UK are banned in the US (where this recipe originates) and may not be recommended for consumption by children. Readers with a tendency to allergies might consider other options such as beetroot.
    'If you think education is expensive, try estimating the cost of ignorance'.

    - Howard Gardner
  • MirabelleMirabelle Owl Whisperer Kensington.Posts: 1,020 The Mix Regular
    Orange Custard Cream Fairy Cakes
    Recipe by Master Baker Dan Lepard for The Guardian

    Attachment not found.

    Flavour extracts (found in most supermarkets) come in very handy when natural fruit zest would be dominated by other ingredients in the cake mix. Makes 10-12

    175g caster sugar
    50ml sunflower oil
    50g unsalted butter, softened
    3 medium eggs
    1 tsp orange extract
    100ml double cream
    250g plain flour
    2 tsp baking powder

    For the icing
    225g icing sugar, ideally the fondant sort
    Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange

    For the custard cream
    2 egg yolks
    200ml double cream
    3 tsp cornflour
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    25g caster sugar

    Line the pockets of a muffin tray with muffin papers and heat the oven to 160C (140c fan-assisted)/320F/gas mark 2½. Beat the sugar, oil and butter until light in colour, then beat in the eggs one at a time until smooth. Add the orange extract and cream, beat well, then add the flour and baking powder, and beat again until smooth. Fill each muffin case about two-thirds full with the mix and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cakes are neatly domed and golden. Remove and leave to cool.

    To make the custard cream, beat together all the ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil, whisking often, then beat until smooth. Cover and leave until cold, then pipe it with a plain 8mm nozzle deep through the top crust and into the cupcake heart; alternatively, scoop out a little of the cake with a small knife, spoon in a little custard and top with just a slice from the cake plug.

    Beat the icing sugar, zest and enough juice (probably 25ml) to make a thick icing and drizzle over the top of the cupcakes, thereby covering your tracks. (Alternatively, omit the cream filling altogether and just ice the fairy cakes as they are.)


    'If you think education is expensive, try estimating the cost of ignorance'.

    - Howard Gardner
  • MirabelleMirabelle Owl Whisperer Kensington.Posts: 1,020 The Mix Regular
    Oreo Fairy Cakes

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    By chef and food writer Lorraine Pascale

    MAKES 12
    butter 150g
    sugar 150g
    eggs 3, medium-sized
    self-raising flour 150g
    salt a pinch
    Oreo biscuits 1½ packets
    For the buttercream icing:
    butter 500g, softened
    icing sugar 1 kg

    Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Get the middle shelf ready. Line a 12-hole cupcake tray with cases. I like to use Dr Oetker, as they are a good size for this recipe. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add the eggs one by one, beating together after each addition. If at any time the mixture looks like it has curdled, add a little bit of the flour and beat it like mad until it looks uniform again. To be honest, even if it looks a little curdled it does not really affect the texture of the cupcake. It will still taste delicious. Add the flour and mix together along with the salt, and then fold in half a packet of the Oreos (crumble them up first).

    Divide the mixture among the 12 cupcake cases and then bake for around 25 minutes (oven temperatures are often not very accurate and vary so much) or until they feel spongy and smell cooked. Once the cakes are cooked, remove them from the oven and leave them to cool completely in the tin.

    Once they are done, set them aside and start making the buttercream. Cream together the butter and icing sugar until it is light and fluffy. Then fold in a half-packet of crumbled-up Oreos.

    Once the cupcakes are completely cool, plop a big spoonful of the icing mixture on each cake, then smooth it around with a knife until it is to your liking. It is quite hard to pipe the mixture on to the cupcakes because of the Oreo bits, but if you have a piping nozzle big enough for the bits to get through, then it is worth a try. You can decorate the cakes with half a whole Oreo if desired. Serve with a piping-hot cup of tea.

    'If you think education is expensive, try estimating the cost of ignorance'.

    - Howard Gardner
  • organicseedsorganicseeds Posts: 1 Literally just got here
    I love the weekend baking. Carrot cake is a healthy alternative to classic ones, as well as gluten-free, which makes it suitable for people with intolerances.

    Pumpkin seeds play a vital role in supplying necessary nutrients to human bodies.

  • maryam852maryam852 Posts: 153 Helping Hand
    @Mirabelle I actually made these with my little sister and she literally devoured them in minutes! We also added some unicorn fondant horns on top and edible glitter in the batter!
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